TRISHA HARBORD heads to the Bognor Regis resort for a peek inside its new £25m addition
THERE were hundreds of builders hard at work with just hours to go before the first guests were due to check in to Butlins' new £25million hotel.
It was like watching a scene from TV's 60 Minute Makeover as they raced against the clock to put the final touches to the swish Wave Hotel & Apartments. But when it opened this week, it was all shipshape and a superb addition to the Bognor Regis resort.
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Resembling a giant cruise liner, it stands alongside sister hotels the Shoreline and Ocean on the West Sussex coastline. Reflecting its name, Wave has ocean-themed decor throughout. White ribbons on posts "wave" in the wind, blue discs ripple like water behind reception, sails hang from the coffee shop ceiling and "under the sea" friezes adorn the walls.
There are 215 family rooms (including a children's room with a porthole door) and 29 two and three-bedroom apartments in the "tween" hotel, attracting families with children between pre-school and teenage years. It is hi-tech with a Kindle library and "submarine" Games Port with Wii consoles, iMacs, PS3s and iPod docks. There's even a flat-screen TV at the bottom of each bunk bed.
Opening Wave, TV actress Angela Griffin said: "I love it. The standard of the rooms is first class and the apartments are wonderful. I'm definitely coming back for a week next time."
Butlins operation director Mike Crowther said: "Pleasing everyone on holiday can be tricky but we're confident that we've cracked it with this state-of-the-art hotel."
Wave is impressive - many of the rooms and apartments (free wi-fi, toiletries, iron and hairdrier) have balconies and sea views while also overlooking the resort with its dome-shaped entertainment complex.
The attractions, activities, restaurants, bars and service with a smile play a large part in Butlins' continuing success. It will fill hundreds of chalets and all three hotels at Bognor this summer.
Billy Butlin would have been proud of his legacy - three hotels built in just seven years. And I reckon Wave is the best yet.
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Butlins (0845 070 4730/www.butlins.com) offers three nights at the Wave Hotel & Apartments from £295 (two adults and two children aged 2-14 sharing), room only.